The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”). Hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker, she may be in for more than she bargained.
A charming, feel-good romance for the days you just need a happily-ever-after.
I’ve read one of Katherine Center’s book before and knew that with The Bodyguard, I was in for a really lovely story full of heart and real-life issues. And that’s what I got!
This book follows two main characters: Hannah, the bodyguard, and Jack, the movie star she’s asked to protect. First of all, I loved the premise for the story. The “fake dating” trope was fun and I appreciated how Center flipped roles on the familiar bodyguard storyline around. And while this is a romance, I appreciated that there weren’t any steamy scenes — something I find increasingly rare in the “rom-com” genre.
My favorite part of this story was Jack. This protagonist is such a sweetheart of a character. I dare you to try and not like him! He may be a world renowned celebrity, but he’s also charming and kind, and I adored his backstory. The whole world built around his character (his family, and the setting of the ranch where they’re staying) was really well done.
Hannah, however, was much more of a stretch for me. I struggled to connect this highly trained and elite bodyguard with the way Hannah was often portrayed. Yes, I appreciated the honest discussion about grief and emotions, but I just didn’t feel that her responses always fit the way she’d initially described herself — and that confused me. I’m glad I stuck with it though, because I did warm up to her in the second half of the story. And I will say that I was rooting for Jack and Hannah the whole way through.
Some of the secondary characters (Hannah’s colleagues, the stalkers, etc) were definitely a bit over the top, but in an entertaining and light sort of way. I could also see this working really well as a rom-com movie. (Starring Sandra Bullock? Yes, please!)
The Bodyguard was an endearing read. Sweet and fluffy, with a little bit of humor — it would make a great beach read this summer. I will definitely be back for more of Katherine Center’s stories in the future!
Readers who like sweet romance stories, and faking-dating tropes.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. eArc provided courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin’s Press. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) She’s got his back.
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.
He’s got her heart.
Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.
They’ve got a secret.
When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.
What could possibly go wrong???
Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.